Governor Ron DeSantis announced Tuesday visitation at nursing homes and assisted living facilities can resume in Florida. The facilities have been closed to visitors since March because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Many folks understand that they have loved ones in the last stage of their life," says DeSantis. "They just would like to say goodbye or hug somebody."
Under the new guidelines, residents can invite two family members or friends at a time to visit. To be eligible, the facility has to go 14 days without any positive covid-19 tests.
Visitors must schelude an appointment and no children under 18 will be allowed. Once on the premises, all visitors must also wear proper protective equipment (PPE) and pass a health screening to enter.
Hampton Manor in Cape Coral is a local assisted living facility. Community Development Manager, Amy Hanna-Eckenrode was thrilled when she heard DeSantis announcement.
"It was hard not to be excited! It's one thing for them to be able to interact with each other on a daily basis in the limited capacity that they can, but to be with their family members means absolutely everything," says Eckenrode.
Hampton Manor does have a few concerns about the process of allowing visitors.
"One thing we're going to want to seriously maintain is the proper use of PPE's, screening of our residents, taking temperatures of our guests and setting appointments so we don’t have an overabundance of people in all at the same time," says Eckenrode.